Parma Day TripNovember 29, 2017 in Italy
Day Trip to Parma
Parma. Land of parma ham and parmigiano regianno cheese. None of which taste like anything back in Perth, even when bought from Italian purveyors. Apart from the gastronomic gifts, Parma has enough to feast the eyes, mind and soul.
Parma's Duomo, consecrated in 1106, has Correggio's Assumption of the Virgin painted in the domed ceiling. Although entrances to most of the cathedrals we've been to is free, one has to put €1 or €2 into a machine to light up the artworks. In this case, it was €2 for Correggio's ceiling, and another €2 for the whole nave of about 20m, an intricate cycle of frescoes and all its iconography, painted by Lanttanzio Gambara and Bernardino Gatti. It was most annoying that the light only came on for 5 minutes, hardly enough time to appreciate the illuminated masterpieces. To keep feeding a machine somehow detracted from the absorption of looking at art, especially in a place of worship. I would rather pay an entrance fee and have all the time to look, attend, absorb and be awestruck.
It's neighbour, The Baptistery, is an octagonal pink marble stout tower. Internally, it displays examples of Byzantine frescoes and Romanesque sculptures, and Gothic paintings.
We stumbled into the former Convent of San Paolo where the Abbess commissioned Correggio to decorate the domed ceiling of her private dining room. This was a delight to visit, as after an entrance fee of only €2, you could stare for as long as your neck would allow, at the amazing ceiling. There were even comfortable chairs, placed at different parts of the rooms, for you comfortably be awestruck at different aspects of the room.
I finally tried the fried bread, Crestina. One word that springs to my mind is pillowy. It is nothing like bread, but more liked puffed pillowy ravioli; light, airy and ever so tasty. As it is served with cold cuts (ham and such meats), where better to have that than in Parma. It was sublime. Wars have been fought for lesser reasons than that dish.
Parma. You've fed me well.Read more